Democratic presidential candidates former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) appear at a Democratic debate at the University of New Hampshire on Feb. 4, 2016 in Durham, N.H.
David Goldman—AP
By Maya Rhodan
February 5, 2016

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders passed on opportunities to attack each other at Thursday night’s debate on the scandals their campaigns have faced.

MSNBC moderators Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow questioned the two candidates on their perceived electability, drawing on issues hanging over both campaigns, including Clinton’s use of a personal email server as Secretary of State and Sanders’ problems with his campaign staff. But though the two candidates attacked each other sharply over substantive issues including Wall Street and Obamacare, neither took the chance to sling mud over oft-repeated scandals.

Sanders had taken the high road before, exclaiming in the first debate last year that the American people were “sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.” He was more reserved on Thursday, but while the moderators pressed Clinton on the issue, Sanders said his opinion had not changed.

“There’s a process under way,” Sanders said of the FBI inquiry into Clinton’s emails. “I will not politicize it.”

The moderators probed Sanders on the missteps of his campaign — from the staffer who took the Clinton team’s data to the report that his campaign ran ads falsely insinuating that he had been endorsed by two newspapers. An editor from one of the newspapers called one of the ads “deceptive.” Sanders denied claiming any endorsements that had not been given to him, and, regarding the staffer who took data, he said his campaign had punished those who acted inappropriately.

When Clinton was asked if she would like to comment on the issue, she simply said, “No.”

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